Ballou steals the show at Ojai

The Kingsmen tennis team had an outstanding outing at this weekend’s Ojai Tennis Tournament.

Alex Nichols, Connor Treacy, Thomas Millet and Devon Belcher started Friday off right for the Kingsmen, each earning a singles victory.  Nichols, Treacy and Millet all won in two sets, while Belcher earned a come-from-behind 3-6, 6-1, 6-2 three set victory over his Pomona-Pitzer opponent.

“The team’s performance this weekend was great; all of us won at least a round in singles,” said Treacy.  “All of us have great team chemistry so we can all push each other harder, which allows us to get better and win matches.”

Top seeds Nicholas Ballou and Ray Worley both swung their way to victory, earning them a spot in Saturday’s third round of singles play.  Both joined up for their doubles matches and earned their 15th victory of the year, giving them a spot in Saturday’s doubles rounds.

“Everyone on the team really competed well and gave it their best effort. The Ojai is always a tough tournament to play since it’s at the end of the season, so making it far can be a challenge,” said Worley.

On Saturday, Ballou earned two quick victories over Nicolas Cummings of Redlands and Neel Kotrappa from Claremont Mudd-Scripps, giving him the invitation to Sunday’s singles semifinals.

Worley lost his singles match but joined Ballou in doubles to earn another victory, putting them in Sunday’s semifinal doubles match as well.

“After losing my singles match I was very upset, as it was my last chance to compete at the Ojai [Tennis Tournament]. But it did not affect my doubles, because once Nicholas and I step on the tennis court together, we are always focused on taking care of business,” said Worley.  “I was able to keep my focus by keeping my eyes on winning the doubles title with one of my best friends.”

With a 2012 doubles finals loss to avenge, Ballou and Worley showed up to work on Sunday.  Ballou defeated Claremont Mudd-Scripps’ Alex Lane with ease 6-2, 6-2 to become the Ojai Tennis Tournament singles champion for the second consecutive year.

Not wasting any time, Ballou joined Worley in their doubles match, beating Gram Leahy and Patrick Lipscomb in the semi-finals 8-2. The team breezed past Claremont Mudd-Scripps’ Warren Wood and Joe Dorn 6-2, 6-2 to win the tournament doubles championship.

“Winning this title after losing a rough three-setter in the finals last year feels so good, especially since it is my last year to compete for the Kingsmen,” said Worley.

Worley and Ballou improved their doubles record to 18-1 on the season.  The two seniors have not lost a match against a SCIAC opponent in 2013.

The team’s next match will take place at the SCIAC Championships this Friday and Saturday in Whittier.  The No. 4 ranked Kingsmen hope to upset No. 1 ranked Claremont-Mudd-Scripps and send seniors Worley, Ballou, Millet and Nick Jacobs off as league champions.


Jase Magarifuji
Staff Writer
Published may 1, 2013